The double whammy of cold weather and influenza are cutting into the blood donations says an American Red Cross spokesperson.
Northwoods Red Cross blood representative Marc Sutton says it has been a tough winter to collect always needed blood....
"...this time of the year is very difficult for us up north for several reasons. A lot of snow cancellations hindered collections during January and February. When we cancel that drive, those are pints we don't collect so we have to make up ground on that. The other thing that is hitting us is that a lot of people are sick. When your not feeling well we don't want you to donate and that is impacting our blood supply...."
Sutton says people need blood all year round, but the donations get cut during the colder months, so it is critical that people come forward to meet the call....
"...the easiest way to check on a blood drive in your area is to go to redcrossblooddrive.org, On that website you can search for blood drives, you can find out what is in your area, We have Rapid Pass, so if you click on that link you can fill out a lot of your health history questions and print it off the day of the drive. You can also call 800-RED CROSS. We'll let you know where the blood drives are at and you can schedule an appointment as well...."
Last month, The American Red Cross issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors of all blood types. Platelet and type O negative and B negative blood donations are critically needed. Officials say severe winter weather with snow storms and frigid temperatures has had a tremendous impact on blood donations. More than 150 blood drives have already been canceled this year causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.
Nationwide, more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December were recorded.